“I Can’t See Clearly Now!”

Two years ago I had cataract surgery in both eyes which produced a marked improvement in my vision, particularly driving at night. I had not seen so well in many years since cataracts develop slowly over time until they are “ripe” enough to replace with intraocular lenses. While I still needed glasses they gave me 20/20 vision. I thought done was done.

Over the last two months I began to notice difficulty driving at dusk, more glare from ongoing cars and struggles with very small print. All these problems had been solved by the surgery. So yesterday I went back to my eye doctor to find out what was going on with my eyes. I wasn’t sure what was causing this marked decrease in vision and had some anxiety about the visit.

After a thorough exam she told me I had developed posterior capsular opacification, basically a return of cloudiness caused this time not by the cataract but by the space behind the new lenses. It sounded much worse than it apparently is. Around 25% of cataract surgery patients have this occur, often after two years. I go on April 7 for an in office procedure with a laser beam to open vision in the first eye. Then I will return for the second.

I had never heard of this complication and wanted to alert any of you who note a decrease in vision after cataract surgery to head straight back to your ophthalmologist for an exam. My routine one was a month off and I am grateful I moved it up to yesterday.

“Here’s looking at you kid!”

13 thoughts on ““I Can’t See Clearly Now!”

  1. I’ve heard of that complication but didn’t realize how often it occurs. I had cataract surgery in both eyes last month to prevent narrow angle closure glaucoma. (I have narrow angles, and cataract surgery was recommended by my ophthalmologist for that reason alone.) Though I see more clearly now for distance, my near vision suffered more than I thought it would. I’m finally adjusting to my new eyes, so I hope I don’t have to go back again to deal with opacification, though it sounds like the procedure is simpler than the surgery.


  2. Thank you for writing about vision problems after cataract surgery. I had my surgery a year and a half ago, and I’ve had no cloudiness yet. Other things went wrong, but not this, yet.


  3. I have heard of this firsthand, and apparently it is not uncommon. I had cataract surgery, and returned to have the lenses ‘polished’ years later. The surgeon, ophthalmologist, and friends who have had the surgery all say the same thing. So, you are in the pool with the rest of us.


  4. Yes, when I had my Cataract surgery Elizabeth the info pamphlet the Opthamologist gave me had that complication explained in it as a possibility after surgery.

    So far I’m good 😊

    A friend had that procedure for opacification in his eyes after cataract surgery & all went well.
    Blessings, Jennifer


  5. I had the same thing in one eye 2 years after cataract surgery. The in office procedure was quick, painless and in the words of Mr. Nash… I can see clearly now


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